This Summer, I've decided to create a series of health tips specifically aimed at improving health during Summer months. Watch for more tips as the June, July, and August proceed.
Summer Health Tip One: Drink Responsibly and Healthfully.
Now that it is hotter outside and BBQ season, more and more people are reaching for a cold, alcoholic beverage to quench their thirst. It's hotter, so we're thirstier, and nothing sounds as appealing as a nice, chilled, bottle of... water? Let's be real and admit that there is a plethora of other appealing beverages to consume when its hot; in addition to beer, coolers, and cocktails, there is the temptation of slushies, milkshakes, and pop. Today I'm going to address the former option of drinks and try to offer healthier substitutions.
(Disclaimer: I am definitely not encouraging an alcohol-heavy Summer, I am only suggesting the following drinks to try to help those who choose to drink, to drink "healthier" this season).
- Red wine is arguably the healthiest alcoholic beverage available, but it is usually served warm and is thus not super appealing. Instead, try drinking rose wines which are best chilled and contain 50% white and 50% red grapes.
- Coolers are probably the WORST drink on the market for your health. Although their fruit flavors sound tempting, the majority of them contain NO fruit, are filled with high fructose corn syrup, a lot of synthetic flavors and dyes, and dehydrate the body even more due to their high sugar content. Instead, try real fruit juice spritzers (see below).
- Enjoy real fruit juice spritzers by combining fruit sodas (such as this brand or this brand) with plain vodka or rum in a glass. Voila! You've made your own cooler without any pop or synthetic flavorings. You'll get the carbonated feeling and sweet taste of regular pop with more natural ingredients than coolers or pop-based drinks.
- Try drinking sparkling white wines for a chilled and bubbly drink that is better than coolers. Champagne, anyone?
- Make mimosas (white wine mixed with orange juice). This way you are drinking a healthier alcoholic beverage (wine) yet it tastes fruity and more summery thanks to the orange.
- Choose "whole wheat" beers. These are the beers that are non-filtered and thus contain more nutrients than most beers. They are usually the white and wheat beers, such as Richard's White, Keith's White, and Hooegarden.
- Try organic beers. There are organic varieties at most liquor stores, with Mill St. Organic as the most available.
Other important reminders:
- Don't use alcohol to replace water. While having a beer after mowing the lawn is great, what you really need during laborious work outside is some good 'ol H2O. Don't forget to drink water in addition to your beverage of choice.
- For every alcoholic drink, chase it with one glass of water. Dehydration during warmer months is a serious issue and alcohol only increases the danger by dehydrating the body even further. Keep water levels up at all times!
- And in every discussion of alcohol, it is important to remind you to drink safely! Be aware of your limit and always arrange for a safe ride home.